Since the earliest days of our country’s founding, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has served as a bellwether for freedom. That independent spirit still resonates among its historic neighborhoods—an eloquent reminder of America’s patriotic past.
Mansions that once belonged to members of Philadelphia’s Victorian-era upper class line the brick walkways of Rittenhouse Square.
Above left: As its name implies, the Reading Terminal Market is located in a former train shed. The always-bustling stalls offer all manner of wares and are open for business every day of the week. Above right: Patriots convened at Independence Hall to debate—and adopt—both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
Built in 1865 as a private residence, the Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast brings quaint Victorian charm to the heart of Philadelphia. The inn retains the home’s original stained-glass windows, hardwood floors, and welcoming front porch.
Above left: Just half a block away, Scarlett’s welcomes customers to peruse its myriad vintage treasures, such as this gilded jewelry casket box. Above right: An enviable collection of seventeenth- to nineteenth-century needlework samplers and silk embroideries is gathered at M. Finkel & Daughter—an antiques emporium in historic Antique Row. Occupying a circa-1840 building, the shop also houses two floors of period furniture and accessories.
A quiet refuge in the center of the city, Morris House Hotel offers the best of modern-day amenities within an elegant historical setting. The bluestone courtyard, shaded by magnolias and brimming with flowers, is a refreshing oasis on a hot summer day.
With an emphasis on European decorative arts, Jeffrey L. Biber Antiques is stocked with curios and collectibles.
The unorthodox philosophy of the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia blurs the boundaries between visitors and its vast collections, allowing a more meaningful experience.
Also displayed at the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia are 450 portrait miniatures by French, English, Dutch, Spanish, and Italian artists. The museum celebrated the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with several interrelated exhibitions.
Known as the “father of American botany,” Pennsylvanian John Bartram was infinitely fascinated with the flora all around him. He traveled throughout the colonies, learning about indigenous plants and sharing that knowledge with fellow horticulturists. His home, which was begun in 1728 and then built in stages throughout the next forty years, stands upon the forty-five-acre property known as Bartram’s Garden. The noted botanist’s legacy endures among the garden paths, where visitors can view many of his discoveries and cultivars.
To learn more about the charming city of Philadelphia, see “City of Brotherly Love” on page 23 of the July/August 2015 issue of Victoria.